The rate of children, especially black males, who kill themselves has soared since the 1980s, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The overall suicide rate of young people under 25 has remained close to 5.5 per 100,000 since 1980. In 1992, 5,007 children, teens and young adults committed suicide.

Young white males continued to have the highest rate overall, growing about 5 percent -- from 15.4 in 1980 to 16.1 in 1992.

But the increase was sharpest among all black males. The overall rate in that category rose 20 percent -- from 8.5 per 100,000 in 1980 to 10.1 in 1992 -- while the rate among black males ages 10 to 14 soared 300 percent, from about 0.5 to about 2.

The rate rose 120 percent among all 10- to 14-year-olds -- from 0.8 per 100,000 to 1.7 -- from 1980 to 1992. For all 15- to 19-year-olds the rate rose 28.3 percent, from, 8.5 to 10.9.

The CDC said more than 50 percent of those under 25 who kill themselves do so with a gun. While suicides have increased among younger children, suicide attempts have not, says the CDC. Children are choosing guns because they work. You may call the CDC at (404) 332-4555.

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